In contact with Russia over vaccine, rigorous review and assessment required: WHO

WION Web Team Geneva Aug 11, 2020, 05.33 PM(IST)

Viral vector vaccine Photograph:( AFP )

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Kirill Dmitriev, the head of Russian direct investment fund which financed the coronavirus vaccine project, said that Phase 3 trials would start on Wednesday with industrial production due to start next month.

After President Vladimir Putin declared that the country had developed the world's first coronavirus vaccine, the World Health Organization(WHO) said it was "discussing the new COVID-19 vaccine with Russia."

Also Read: Russia has developed world's 'first' coronavirus vaccine, says Putin

The United Nations health agency's spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said: "We are in close contact with the Russian health authorities and discussions are ongoing with respect to possible WHO pre-qualification of the vaccine."

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"Pre-qualification of any vaccine includes the rigorous review and assessment of all the required safety and efficacy data," Jasarevic added. The vaccine has been developed by Russia's Gamaleya research institute along with the country's defence force.

"Every country has national regulatory agencies that approve the use of vaccines or medicines on its territory," Jasarevic informed, adding, "WHO has in place a process of pre-qualification for vaccines but also for medicines. Manufacturers ask to have the WHO pre-qualification because it is a sort of stamp of quality."

"To get this, there is a review and assessment of all required safety and efficacy data that are gathered through the clinical trials. WHO will do this for any candidate vaccine."

Kirill Dmitriev, the head of Russian direct investment fund which finances the vaccine project said that Phase 3 trials would start on Wednesday with industrial production due to start next month.

WHO's Jasarevic said that he was encouraged by the speed by which several candidate vaccines have been developing however he cautioned that "accelerating progress does not mean compromising on safety".